Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)

Great August birding in Valle Vecchia

The second half of summer is always one of the slowest times of the year for birdwatching, with very secretive and silent birds and a very low number of migrants and eventual vagrants. So it has been a great surprise to have a so amazing day in Valle Vecchia of Caorle (Venice/Venezia province) right in the middle of August, with almost 90 species of birds observed!

With my friend Paolo Vacilotto, we started having a look, by telescope, to the Porto Baseleghe lagoon and finding quite a few shore birds, going from Whimbrels (Numenius phaeopus) to 1 Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula), 1 Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea) and many Grey Plovers (Pluvialis squatarola). But the most unexpected observation was a Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) crossing a wide part of salt water swimming!

Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus)
Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus)

Along some hedges of the cultived fields we found a mixed group of passerines, including 2 Icterine Warblers (Hippolais icterina), 1 Great Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus), 1 Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix), a ten of Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus) and a family of Common Nightingales (Luscinia megarhynchos), probably attracted by bushes plenty of blackberries: truly a good view!

Great Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus)
Great Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus)

Then we checked the first pond where we found interesting birds like 1 White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus), 2 Ferruginous ducks (Aythya nyroca) and 1 Little Stint (Calidris minuta).

The other ponds close the Falconera harbour where partially dry, so they hosted more waders and less waterfowls than usual. The best species observed were 1 Little Crake (Porzana parva), 3 Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) and 1 Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) and we managed to take some good pictures of birds walking on the mud in front of the hides.

Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)

The weather was mainly cloudy, but very humid and hot so, at midday, the avian activity was very low. We had a walk along the pinewood, but the only active animals were insects, with some good Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens), 1 Tree Grayling (Hipparchia statilinus) and 1 Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus alceae).

Southern Skipper (Orthetrum brunneum)
Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens)

We decided to move to the Bonifica di Loncon (a wide drainage area), aiming to add some more species to the already rich check-list of the day. Also there the bird activity was very low, despite to the dark clouds in the distance: the temperature was still above 30 degrees Celsius. We observed a couple of Night Herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) and Cuckoos (Cuculus canorus), 1 male of Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio), but no rare birds, so we decided to end the day and go home.

This was the check-list of species observed at the end of the day (V = Valle Vecchia, L = Bonifica di Loncon):

  1. Roe Deer (4-5 individuals in V)
  2. Coypu (3 individuals in V, 1-2 in L)
  3. Mute Swan (V)
  4. Mallard (V)
  5. Northern Shoveler (4+ in V)
  6. Garganey (a ten in V)
  7. Common Teal (a dozen in V)
  8. Ferruginous Duck (2 in V)
  9. Common Pochard (a few in V)
  10. Common Pheasant (V, L)
  11. Common Quail (3-5 heard in V)
  12. Little Grebe (V)
  13. Great Crested Grebe (V)
  14. Pygmy Cormorant (some tens in V)
  15. Great Cormorant (V)
  16. Little Bittern (4-5 in V)
  17. Squacco Heron (7-8 in V)
  18. Night Heron (2-3 in L)
  19. Cattle Egret (1 in Salgareda)
  20. Little Egret (50+ in V, a few L)
  21. Great Egret (2-3 in V)
  22. Grey Heron (V, L)
  23. Purple Heron (few in V)
  24. Glossy Ibis (3 in V)
  25. Osprey (1 in V)
  26. Western Marsh Harrier (2 in V)
  27. Sparrowhawk (1 in V, 2-3 in L)
  28. Common Buzzard (1 in L)
  29. Common Kestrel (Brussa, L)
  30. Peregrine Falcon (1 in V)
  31. Little Crake (1 female in V)
  32. Common Moorhen (V)
  33. Eurasian Coot (V)
  34. Black-winged Stilt (V)
  35. Northern Lapwing (a ten in V)
  36. Common Ringed Plover (1 in V)
  37. Little Ringed Plover (7-8 in V)
  38. Grey Plover (20-25 in V)
  39. Dunlin (40+ in V)
  40. Curlew Sandpiper (1 in V)
  41. Little Stint (1 in V)
  42. Eurasian Greenshank (a ten in V)
  43. Spotted Redshank (1-2 in V)
  44. Wood Sandpiper (a ten in V)
  45. Green Sandpiper (a few in V)
  46. Common Sandpiper (5-7 in V)
  47. Common Curlew (25-30 in V)
  48. Whimbrel (3+ in V)
  49. Common Snipe (5 in V)
  50. Black-headed Gull (V)
  51. Yellow-legged Gull (V, L)
  52. Sandwich Tern (25-30 in V)
  53. Common Tern ( a few in V)
  54. White-winged Tern (1 in V)
  55. Common Woodpigeon (V, L)
  56. Feral Pigeon (V, L)
  57. European Turtle Dove (2-3 in V)
  58. Eurasian Collared Dove (V, L)
  59. Common Cuckoo (2-3 in L)
  60. Little Owl (1 in Brussa)
  61. Common Swift (a ten in V)
  62. European Bee-eater (60-70 in V)
  63. Common Kingfisher (1 in V, 1-2 in V)
  64. European Green Woodpecker (3 in V)
  65. Great Spotted Woodpecker (4-5 in V)
  66. Barn Swallow (V)
  67. Sand Martin (1-2 in V)
  68. White Wagtail (1 in V)
  69. Yellow Wagtail (3-4 in V)
  70. Common Nightingale (V)
  71. Common Blackbird (V)
  72. Zitting Cisticola (4-5 in V)
  73. Cetti’s Warbler (V)
  74. Common Reed Warbler (V)
  75. Great Reed Warbler (1 in V)
  76. Savi’s Warbler (1 heard in V)
  77. Icterine Warbler (2 in V)
  78. Blackcap (V)
  79. Wood Warbler (1 in V)
  80. Spotted Flycatcher (1 in V)
  81. Long-tailed Tit (V)
  82. Great Tit (V)
  83. Red-backed Shrike (1 in L)
  84. Eurasian Jay (V, L)
  85. Eurasian Magpie (V, L)
  86. Hooded Crow (V, L)
  87. Common Starling (V)
  88. Tree Sparrow (1-2 in L)
  89. Italian Sparrow (V, Brussa, L)
  90. Goldfinch (V)
  91. Italian Wall Lizard (2-3 in V)
  92. Green Frog spp. (V)
  93. Blue-tailed Damselfly (V)
  94. Keeled Skimmer (V)
  95. Black-tailed Skimmer (V)
  96. Broad Scarlet (V)
  97. Scarce Swallowtail (1 in L)
  98. Common Clouded Yellow (V)
  99. Short-tailed Blue (2 in V)
  100. Common Blue (1 in V)
  101. Red Admiral (1 in V)
  102. Spotted Fritillary (2 in L)
  103. Tree Grayling (1 in V)
  104. Small Heath (2 in V)
  105. Large Skipper (1 in V)
  106. Mallow Skipper (1 in V)
  107. Minsmere Crimson Underwing (1 in V)
  108. Wasp Spider (1 in V)

Luca Boscain


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